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Nationals GM: Stephen Strasburg could pitch in September

Jul 15, 2011, 6:43 PM EDT

Stephen Strasburg Reuters

Stephen Strasburg continues to progress in his return from Tommy John surgery, and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said Friday that the former No. 1 overall draft pick could make a start in September for the club.

Strasburg was pretty much written off for 2011 after undergoing surgery last Sept. 3, but his rehab is going extremely well.  He threw to hitters for the first time Wednesday, throwing 45 pitches in Viera, FL.

If Strasburg does return this year, it’d likely be for one or two starts at the most, and any sort of setback at all would likely rule that out.  The Nationals’ primary goal is to have him ready for 2012, and they’re only going to let him start in the majors in September if it makes complete and total sense.

Still, there wouldn’t be any real harm in letting it happen if his rehab progresses.  The minor league season concludes at the beginning of September, so there’s not going to be anywhere else for Strasburg to pitch until the fall instructional league play starts up.

Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts as a rookie before getting hurt last year.  He figures to join Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan in the Nationals’ 2012 rotation, with two spots still to be determined.

  1. mcchef - Jul 15, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Wow. Not saying it will be, but this COULD end up being the worst decision in franchise history. To bring back the future ace of the team just to pitch him once or twice in September, when clearly the nats will not be in the hunt, is a completely silly notion. Please, oh please dont. I just had flashbacks of Dave Dravecky!

  2. sknut - Jul 15, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    I see your concern, but are the Nats that stupid to put him in a position to get hurt again, a lot can happen between now and September. Its a very good sign for the Nats though.

  3. paulsdamnblog - Jul 16, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    I don’t really see any advantage to bringing him up in Sept. Tommy John can be a real mess to return from, especially for power pitchers, and a disaster if there is any setbacks. I’d keep him in the minors for the remainder of the year, on a “rehab” assignment, prepping him for spring training and the long haul of an MLB season.

  4. henson58 - Jul 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    guarantee his shoulder is the next to go they sow that elbows up to not give and his delivery is to violent so something has to give and its gonna be his shoulder and then he’s done

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